3.5% of Limburg’s surface area accounts for 40% of jobs in the province
Business parks are the engine of Limburg’s economy
Although they take up relatively little space in the total area, business parks are invaluable to Limburg’s economy. They house 20% of all Limburg companies and account for almost 40% of the total number of jobs and more than 40% of gross added value in the province.
POM Limburg calculated this by linking VLAIO data on companies in business parks to NSSO company data. Stijn Vercampt, Spatial Economy expert at POM Limburg: “Limburg has a total surface area of 242,743 ha. VLAIO’s occupancy tables show that 3.5%, or 8,484 ha, of that area is occupied by business parks, excluding infrastructure and non-realisable plots. This corresponds to roughly the area of the municipality of Pelt. On average in Flanders, the share of business parks in the total area is 2.8%.”
In total, Limburg’s business parks boast more than 4,500 business establishments. This means that over 1 in 5 companies employing staff in Limburg is located in a business park. On average, companies in Limburg business parks occupy 1.5 ha of space.
Average of 25 jobs per company
Tom Vandeput, Deputy for the Economy and Chairman of POM Limburg: “Together, these companies account for some 113,000 jobs, or 39% of all jobs in Limburg. This means that in Limburg, almost 4 out of 10 salaried jobs are carried out in a business park. On average, a company in a business park has 25 positions. For companies outside a business park, the average is 10. Not insignificantly, many companies in business parks provide jobs for all walks of life.”
More than half of the companies located in Limburg business parks are active in trade (29%) or industry (22%). Construction is also well represented (19%). In 4th place, and by some distance, is the ‘transport and storage’ sector (6%).
Manufacturing firms do provide the largest number of jobs on business parks: 36% of all jobs. This is followed by trade (15%), construction (10%) and logistics (‘transport and storage’) (10%).
More than 40% of Limburg’s added value
POM Limburg also estimated the economic impact of the business parks. It shows that over 10 billion euros of added value is created by Limburg’s business parks. This estimate means that companies in business parks account for an estimated 40% of the total gross added value realised in Limburg in 2020. “It can be assumed that this is even a slight underestimate, as larger companies, which tend to be located in business parks, generally have higher productivity than the industry average, on which our calculations are based,” says Stijn Vercampt.
Hotspots for economic growth
Deputy and POM Chairman Tom Vandeput: “Business parks are the spatial hotspots for innovation and economic growth. Therefore, it is important to structure them in a way that allows businesses to operate well, both today and in the future. After all, as an entrepreneur or company, you need space to develop to your full potential. Moreover, we want to make our economy more circular, but this too requires space. Together with local governments, POM Limburg ensures sufficient and high-quality space for business activity in our province. In doing so, we consider not only sustainability, but also eco-efficiency and optimal use of available space.”